Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Soft Polenta with Asparagus and Tomato Ragout

I hope you enjoyed the last asparagus recipe, I know it looked very long, but you see it is actually not that difficult. Now I want to do a super easy recipe, something that is healthy and most people can eat. Yes it is gluten free and can even be done for Vegans. When I do the recipe for myself I have to admit that I prefer to cook the polenta with a chicken stock, it is just so great for the flavor, but if you have a good vegetable stock it will come out as perfect.

I found out that Polenta is something many people don't know, therefore they don't buy it or don't go for it in a restaurant. The traditional Polenta is done in a big copper pot on the fire. I had that last time when I was in North Italy in a small restaurant called Grotto. Grotto is a restaurant in the Italian Alps that is built like a type of older days this was used as a storage room because the temperature would stay the same all year long, but then the owners would convert these storerooms into small restaurants. Nowadays a Grotto stands for good and honest and simple cooking. Often one gets served local dishes together with the wine of the region, simple but delicious food.

If you use the coarse Polenta (the original way) it takes a lot of time for the cooking. The stock get boiled up and then the Polenta is added, stirred occasionally and simmered on very low fire for 2 to 3 hours........delicious but whoever has to clean the pot will hate you forever because is usually burns on the bottom. That is why we use the quick cooking polenta, everything is done withing 10 minutes, so it is very quick and easy and still delicious. I decided to go for the quick recipe as it is a lot easier.
There is as well a very simple way to makes sure your Polenta has the right consistency. For each Liter of liquid you take 200 g of Polenta. Most of the time it will come out in the perfect consistency. If you want to makes sure the Polenta stays nice and soft, only add 150 g of Polenta, boil it up and then let it rest for 10 minutes, stir and let it rest for another 5 minutes, then add the Parmesan and Butter

50 Ml Olive Oil
100 G Onions
2 Each Garlic Gloves
1.2 L Asparagus stock
20 G Salt
250 G Polenta rough
100 G Parmesan

500 G Asparagus green
500 G Asparagus white
500 G Tomatoes
100 G Onions
50 G Garlic
50 Ml Olive oil
15 G Salt
5 G Pepper

Cut the onions and garlic in a very fine brunoise
Shallow-fry in the olive oil without color
Add water and milk, boil up
Add the polenta while stirring all the time
Season with salt
Boil up, then put on the smallest flame
Leave the polenta covered for about 90 min
Mix in the parmesan just before serving

Blanch the green asparagus
Peel and cook the white asparagus
Cut the tomatoes in concassee
Cut the onions and garlic nice and fine

Saute all the ingredients in olive oil

Season to taste

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